1. Clarity

Only having one possible meaning or interpretation for a piece of communication.

What’s are the cause of unclear writing?

* Ambiguous terms

* Jargon heavy phrasing

* Unintended connotations

* Incoherent paragraphing

* Shaky grammar

2. Correctness

Writing or communication that conforms to conventional standards of grammar and mechanics.

What are those?

* Punctuation

* Fragments

* Comma splices/ fused sentences

* Agreement/ Shifts

* Needless passive voice

* Misplaced modifiers

3. Conciseness

Writing that functions efficiently, saying the most with the fewest number of words.

What’s it about?

it’s about compressing language not deleting language.

4. Comprehensiveness

All details and information that a reader would reasonably require are included in the document.

What does it mean?

Comprehensiveness does not mean sharing everything. It means sharing everything a reader needs to hear.

* Non-technical readers often don’t need technical details.

* Volume of details appropriate varies  with audience and purpose.

* Readers should not have to go outside a document for information crucial to that document.

Conciseness is about language. Comprehensiveness is about content.

5. Accessibility

The most important parts of a document are easy to identify, locate and use.

What are the methods to enhance accessibility?

* Table of contents

* Glossaries and indexes

* Partitioning and Section headers

* Bolding key terms and concepts

* Representing information graphically

* Shorter paragraphs

Think of accessibility as providing a map for your readers.

6. Appearance

The document maintains reasonable standards of condition, formatting and presentation.

Condition: The document should be free of physical imperfections (stain)

Formatting: A document should use fonts, alignment and layout in ways that match its genre and purpose

Presentation: The document’s paper, binding, layout and color choices should match its genre and purpose

7. Accuracy

All details and information in the document reasonably match reality.

e.g. Time, Money, People, Technical specs and Contact information

8. Honesty

The document does not intentionally mislead its readers.

The difference between honesty and accuracy hinges on one thing: Whether the gap from reality is intentional.

Euphemism can also be dishonest: Intentionally tweak the language to reduce the impact.

Gobbledygook: Intentionally meaningless language.

Euphemisms and gobbledygook exploit imbalanced power relationships.

9. The Writing Situation

All the things that surround any form of communication, as well as the things that might in some way influence that communication.

The rhetorical triangle: Author – Audience – Purpose


A declaration of who you are as speaker.

The associations your readers hold about you.

Persona: A series of strategic, communication based decisions about how you’ll appear in your writing. (Fashion Choice)

How you present yourself is who you are.


The literal people reading your proposal.

The traits and assumptions you imagine for yourself.

The specific reader you create within the writing,

Imagined reader in line with actual reader.

3 main audience traits according to Linda Flower are: Knowledge, Needs and Attitudes.


To Inform

To Persuade

To Emotionally move

Those are the 3 basic communication goals.